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Jeffrey McDaniel

Rookie (1967 / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Meeropol


How strange, the miracle slant rhyme of your name,
a three syllable oasis, here in the White Pages

next to information I once knew by heart: the nape’s
bouquet, the hip’s cliff, the ear’s hiding spot.

How simple it seemed that spring, with a quart of green
cactus milk between us, on the ferry from Naxos

to Crete, when the moon was the one clock, and stars
only had gums. And the summer in Barcelona

when the French children actually cried at the sight
of my dreadlocks. I used to think, if we kissed

in every time zone, it would always be the blue hour
in which I loved you. It still is. The literal

lightning bolt lodged in your family tree. The erased
surname. The alibi bone placed inside you.

A secret takes on a shape beyond language, becomes
tangible, something potentially broken

in half, for the world to see and give words to.

Submitted: Thursday, February 14, 2008

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